Customer Review

84 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Information and Very Interesting!, August 30, 2007
This review is from: Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart (Hardcover)
"Super Crunchers" provides a very readable summary of what can be done to improve performance using the incredible volumes of data accumulated in business, government, health care, and education. Why now? One reason is that the massive amounts of data now available make randomization (essential to valid conclusions) much more achievable than in the past; the other is the low and continually falling costs of computers and storage media.

The bulk of Ayres' work consists of examples (names both companies and the software involved) within each of the sectors previously mentioned. Capital One has been running randomized tests since at least 1995 - tests include page layout, and type and size of offers. Google uses data analysis to fuel its web accelerator (uses your past browsing history to predict pages to be called up next), Wal-Mart's analysis of responses to various employment questions is used to rank potential employees, and Continental Airlines follows up on its own data to design follow-up programs for complaining fliers. Capital One's approach has also been used to evaluate various charity donation-matching programs, and could also be used to evaluate potential billboard and magazine ads. (Similarly, TiVo is now being used to evaluate various TV ads, using the same approach and measuring the relative frequency with which various ads are fast-forwarded through.)

"Offermatica" software not only automates randomization (format, type of offer) for a number of firms, it also analyzes the responses in real time, dramatically cutting the cost of experiments. Thus, no more waiting for hyper-controlled experiments in universities and laboratories that conclude, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL (that never happens), eg. red is preferred to blue.

Randomized tests are also increasingly being used to evaluate various government programs, finding eg. that additional job location assistance more than paid for itself for those receiving unemployment benefits, guiding HeadStart programs to target those most likely to benefit.

"Super Crunchers'" health care examples were the most impressive. Don Berwick's "100,000 lives" campaign saved 122,342 lives in an 18 month period through persuading about 3,000 hospitals representing 75% of all beds to focus on six areas of improvement identified through data analyses. These included antiseptic placement of central line catheters in ICUs, elevating heads and washing the mouths of those on respirators, adoption of the latest heart attack treatments, and rapid response teams to patent beds.

Bottom Line: "Super Crunchers" is an exciting vision of what is already possible!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 5, 2007 8:37:53 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.6 out of 5 stars (128 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (36)
4 star:
 (47)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (16)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Phoenix, AZ.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,039